Prison guard accused of raping an inmate in May has been suspended following his arrest this week _lowres

Michael Gaiter

A state corrections officer accused of raping a male inmate at a Baton Rouge hospital last May was indicted Wednesday on charges of aggravated rape and malfeasance in office.

An aggravated rape conviction would carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison for 59-year-old Michael Gaiter, of Baton Rouge.

The state Department of Public Safety and Corrections suspended Gaiter in September following his arrest that month. Department spokeswoman Pam Laborde said he remains suspended Wednesday.

Baton Rouge Police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely has said inconsistencies in Gaiter’s story to police ultimately resulted in his Sept. 2 arrest.

Gaiter allegedly raped a 30-year-old Department of Corrections inmate who had been taken to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in early May, according to a police report.

The inmate told police Gaiter unshackled him so he could go to the bathroom, and when the inmate returned, Gaiter was sitting in a chair with his gun in his lap, the report states.

Gaiter allegedly told the inmate, “I got you now,” the report says.

The inmate told police Gaiter raped him and then shackled him back to the bed. Gaiter then showed the man photos of the inmate’s family on his cellphone, the report says, but the man said he had never before met Gaiter.

The inmate eventually fell asleep, and when he woke up, a new guard was on duty. He told that guard about the alleged rape, the report states.

The case filed against Gaiter has been assigned to state District Judge Mike Erwin.

Gaiter began working at Department of Corrections in 2006.